First Time Putting my Bike Down!

by Colleen
(Kent, Oh)



Well, it finally happened! This morning I put my bike down, while commuting to school by myself, for the first time. Here's the scenario: I bought my first Harley about two months ago. It is a 2003 FXD and I love it! The bike is the largest I have owned and is a bit heavy, but the center of gravity is pretty low and I felt like it had perfect balance. Well, this morning at the top of a hill with a curve I stopped slightly to adjust my wheel for the sharp, turning decline. Right at that moment a car came up the hill so I stopped all the way and my wheel must have been turned too far and my bike just kept tipping! It was such a slow tip at first I didn't even realize it was happening! Thankfully I had a good gripe and was actually able to slightly hold it up (this also helped it fall more slowly). As luck would have it, a young man was crossing the street right as this happened and I was able to call him over to help me lift it.

From what I can tell, the only damage is a bent foot peg, a small (nickle size) scratch on my pipes, and a bruised knuckle on my hand. Thankfully no considerable damage or injury.

My question to fellow riders: how do you get over the embarrassment and anger? I was so mad at my self as I have been so cautious with my new bike! I feel like I dropped the ball and it could have been much worse. I'm also now wondering if the bike is too heavy for me. What if this would have happened and I wasn't able to sort of catch it? Also, this is the first time I have ever laid a bike down and I have been riding on and off since I was 17! Should I consider a lighter bike or is this the kind of thing that will just eventually happen to most riders?

Comments for First Time Putting my Bike Down!

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Sep 13, 2011
Resting my bike
by: Fran

This weekend took my first long ride to my sisters, very cold, coming back was not so cold but very windy, it was a tiring ride. I turned into my driveway which is gravel and has a upcline, when I got in front of the garage I was going too fast, I breaked hard then before I knew it my foot slipped on the rocks and I went over. I hit the kill switch, then I just laid there. I thought I was going to scream, but kept my cool so my neighbours would not hear. I'm sure they seen me. Embarrassed, betch ya! But I read online of so many stories of bikes going over. New drivers and experienced it doesn't matter. So I have accepted it, the bike is not damaged, my foot is badly bruised but nothing broken so everything is good. This is a lesson learned, and we have so many lessons to learn.

Sep 10, 2011
Down bike
by: Anonymous

Ouch! That sounds rough! It seems like the damage was minimal to you and the bike, which is thankful. My advice is to try to hop back on and start with a small ride somewhere you're familiar with to build your confidence back up! It sounds like the majority of riders have at least one story to tell! Let us know how it goes!

Sep 10, 2011
Me too!!
by: Noeleen

I dropped my 2003 800 volusia. My husband and I were going to get some corn for a bbq and I thought the place was further down but all of a sudden I saw it and shifted from 5th to 4th then turned onto gravel and whamo I was down. What a moron I was, I should have passed the place, turned around and come back to it lol minor damage to the bike maybe $200 total but my arm and leg that was stuck under the bike is still hurting and this was 6 weeks ago!
Also I am having a hard time getting back on the bike. Hopefully I get back on before the winter comes...crossed fingers!!!!!
It's good to hear similar stories it makes you feel a little less stupid!

Sep 08, 2011
I feel your pain
by: Katie

Oh I feel your pain. I am a new rider and dropped my new to me bike the first 5 days I had it. I parked on a slope the wrong way DUH. I have a scratch as well. SIGH. I totally learned my lesson and have even a healthier respect for riding!

Hopefully that is it for us!


Sep 02, 2011
Way to Go!
by: colleen

Way to go Sandi! It is impressive that you were able to get it all the way up by yourself! I'm thankful a young guy was walking by right as it happened to me. Hopefully not too much damage to your bike? Believe me, you'll be sore for a couple of days! At least now we can say we've done it, handle the situation well, and can get back to riding!

Sep 02, 2011
dang it
by: Sandi

I, like Colleen, forgot to put the kickstand down. How forgetful can we be?! Duh! Why does it always happen in slowmo too? I felt so dumb! Calling myself names. I have a Honda Shadow 750. I struggled to get it up using a toolbox from the garage to prop it halfway so i could get better leverage. I was very proud i was able to do it all. Today my muscles are sore, these things are heavy!

Aug 29, 2011
slow motion drop
by: Anonymous

"Its just a thing" so i was told ... by the guy that picked mine up ...lol... Same thing happened to me i went to pull out of a dealership and had to stop quick in some gravel and by the time i was done my bike did a slow motion lay down .SO then i figure ok well hope i can lift it up by myself so i ease my back into it and it goes up so easy ...I am thinking oh yeah i must be a bad ass i lifted it no problem only to realize this guy was helping from the back ..He said are you hurt i said just my damn pride ..lol... No damage to bike it was so slow motion but pride took a shot ..

Aug 28, 2011
Mothers day drop
by: Slow-mo

I too had a slow drop of my 94 Honda Magna on Mothers day@ all places Key West FL....I was riding with 4 other bikes followed by a friend in a car was pulling back out of a store parking lot lead bike pulled out I didn't like how close traffic coming was- waited then stalled in the dip of the entrance (no ground under my feet) held on as long as I could but once past the tip point it and I quote was in S L O W M O T I O N. Now my nickname is "SLOWMO" they guys were there I think before I hit the ground to help me get it up!

Aug 28, 2011
dropped bike
by: Yvonne - NC

I, too, have dropped my bike on 4, yes 4, different occasions. Each one was for a different reason, so, I guess you can say I've learned and will keep learning. I'm sure it will happen again one day, just pick it up, with help, of course, and keep on going. I'm 61 and always learning. Keep the rubber on the road and ride on.

Aug 28, 2011
Dropped Sporty
by: Scweeeker

Hey I too just joined the club. My initiation was parking lot practice at a stand still after doing stops. I was fiddling with the right peg and was on a slight downward lean, anyway down she goes. And oh so SLOW. I flagged a dude cutting grass in a field to help me right her. I have practiced picking her up in my garage ( on purpose) but it isn't so easy. Just keep on keepin' on and and remember the lesson so it won't be repeated. Stay safe and keep the rubber side down...

Aug 24, 2011
by: Colleen

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I'm working on the brushing it off part. When my husband got home from work that night and looked at my bike he reminded me that the scratch on my pipe is from the original owner when he installed the forward control kit! He looked it over and couldn't find one new scratch! By that time my back was awfully sore and we've deduced that I may have ended up holding it up as it rested on the peg! His pride in my ability to handle the situation safely while not injuring me or the bike helped ease the sting. Holy crap is my back and arm sore today! Thanks again for the encouraging words. I've made up with my bike and had the Dark Knight out for a ride this afternoon! I must admit, seeing a motorcycle cop set his down would have probably been a great boost of confidence and it's nice knowing I'm not alone!

Aug 23, 2011
Laying down your bike.
by: Anonymous

Well me Lady you just joined the worlds largest club "Laying your bike down club." Agree with what what everyone else has said. There is a gal in our Lady's group who is every bit of 4'11" and rides a Softail. She is world famous for slow drops. She now bounces back up and say's; "Now that is how you drop a bike properly!" While she raises her arms likes she just did something grand. She was able to turn an embrassing monent into a nice laugh and everyone just moves on. Do not beat yourself up a second longer. Move on and continue to ride your beautiful bike. The best of the best even drop their bikes. We were at a Blessing of the Bikes this summer and a Motorcycle Cop dropped his right in front of everyone. I am sure you see my point now.

Aug 23, 2011
It Will Happen!
by: sassy2731

Like the saying goes "It's not if you lay down your bike but WHEN you lay it down." All bikers will at some point lay their bikes down in some way. So don't beat yourself up any more than you already have. Your bike is beautiful and you love your new bike so why get rid of it if its not damaged. You will in time get more and more comfortable on the bike so I say just keep riding.

Aug 23, 2011
by: Connie

Just remember, main thing is - you didn't get hurt! Last night I joined the club too... I forgot to put the kickstand down. DUH! I don't know where my brain was! All you can do is laugh about it (and hope you don't do it again)!

Aug 23, 2011
It happens
by: Dawn

Welcome to the club. I couldn't keep my bike upright the first year. Seemed like I spent more time tipped over than riding.

There is a saying that goes something like: there are those who've dropped them and those who will. Everyone does it eventually.

1. Only you can decide if the bike is too big.
2. Check out youtube videos and practice somewhere safe picking up the bike yourself. Get a buddy or two to spot you until you figure it out.
3. Get some engine guards, they have the dual purpose of protecting the engine and your legs, and a bonus of keeping the bike slightly off the ground, so it's easier to pick up.
4.Get a tube of touch up paint and some wax, so you can fix the scratches so they don't rust.

As for the embarrassment, try not to take yourself too seriously, and keep a sense of humour. The embarrasment does pass in time.
Read my post "Embarassed beyond belief" I dumped mine in the driveway while the neighbors were having a BBQ. They clapped. I cried once I got in the house. Now we joke about it.

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